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If you have a reluctant reader, then here is a
serious adventure in store for them!
Title: Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer
Author: William Summerhouse
Illustrations: Pritesh Rane
Publisher: Shake-A-Leg Press, LLC
Orion Poe lives on the edge of Maine. A quiet cove known as West Quoddy Head holds a lighthouse which is his home with his grandfather, Patrick Poe. One stormy night, Orion found that he couldn't sleep so he sat by his window and listened to the storms, that is until he saw a bright light flash. He decided that he would sneak out to see what it was, since he was sure it wasn't lightening. What he saw was a strange looking man with a face filled with freckles and windburned. But, that wasn't all, the stranger had blistered lips and a huge purple nose. The man referred to himself as Collins. He was strange and seemingly paranoid. He kept close to him a white knapsack that held inside it a locked box that he ordered Orion to hide and guard with his life. Someone was after him and they did come on a ship that held a very aggressive man called the Colonel another with goggly eyes and more. After a short hunt, Collins was captured and the ship disappeared.
To get to the bottom of the mystery, Orion and his grandpa go to visit a man who is well versed in explorer history. His name was Meriwhether. What they discover in the locked box is a map that was created by a lost explorer who went to the northern Arctic in 1847 by the name of Sir John Franklin. And this is the beginning of the adventure for Orion. He is invited to go to the top of the world on an expedition to find Franklin. On a ship called the Sea Leopard a captain and crew of twelve along with Meriwether and a shifty tracker from Australia named Jones set sail. The expedition is wrought with a trail of events that will have these explorers abandoning ship, tracking on ice through blizzards, loss of life and a battle with creatures that are a cross between a polar bear and werewolf. Orion will see things that no eleven year old should and that's not all. Orion gets separated from the group and will have to use his wits if he is going to survive. While alone he is faced with starvation, dehydration, frost bite and face to face with creatures he refers to as a bear-wolf. Right when he things his time has come he finds himself rescued by someone he thought he would never meet, Sir John Franklin. What will become of young Poe and will he ever see Meriwhether, the crew or home again?
Author William Summerhouse has created an outstanding page turning adventure that will have boys, girls and parents engrossed. The short chapters burst with excitement and emotion that will have readers feeling every experience the main characters go through. Each character is presented in a lively manner and their back-stories don't slow the pace of the story. Readers will find they are intrigued as the mystery unfolds. Readers will also find that there are fun facts about the explorer John Franklin. The story is not short of typical boy shenanigans as the main character, Orion, depicts. This fun adventure feels a little old fashioned but is definitely action packed and a great present day read.